We're a little late, but it doesn't matter. The Patriots are back on a winning streak! They found themselves on the right side of a 24-17 win against an up and coming Buffalo Bills team. This sets the Patriots up for a week 17 matchup against the Miami Dolphins for sole possession of the Number 2 seed in the AFC. Before we move completely to Miami, let's look back at three ups and downs from the Buffalo game.
Up: Tom Brady
Tom Brady went back to being vintage Tom Brady in this game. Brady was 26/33 with 271 yards on the night, and this touchdown pass to tight end Matt LaCosse. It seemed like the legendary quarterback was doing a little bit of everything. He owned the time of possession, nearly doubling the time on the field as Buffalo's offense. He was making better throws. The quarterback even was blocking, wait what?
Yep, you read that right! Brady was throwing blocks left and right, and everybody at Gillette went nuts. It was good to see Tom Brady be the Brady of old.
Down: Mohamed Sanu
It's safe to say the Mohamed Sanu experiment has failed thus far. Sure, he had that first big game against the Ravens. Since then, Sanu has been ineffective. On fourth and one, he WHIFFED on his block. He seems to be mistiming his routes. On punt returns, it looks like he has no idea what he's doing. If the Patriots were to do it over again, I'm betting they would try to be more aggressive with Emmanuel Sanders.
Up: Julian Edelman
I love Julian Edelman, there, I said it! Edelman is the one target Brady consistently relies on every game and with good reason.
Julian Edelman helps this offense take off. Obviously, there's no Gronk, Josh Gordon, or Antonio Brown to help the offense. So that gives Julian Edelman more opportunity to help the Patriots offense get going. They might have something here, and Edelman is in the thick of it all.
Down: Patrick Chung
Patrick Chung got torched on the Dawson Knox reception that set up the Buffalo touchdown at the end of the first half. I can't believe Josh Allen even was capable of making that clutch of a pass. Chung got twisted and turned and he was beat badly on that play. When better offense and receivers come around in the playoffs, Chung cannot let those types of plays happen.
Up: Rex Burkhead
Rex Burkhead was everywhere on the field. Sure, he had the first drive fumble. That's a good defensive play by Buffalo. After that, he was crucial in the game. On the ground, he had five rushes for 20 yards and the game winning touchdown in the fourth quarter. In the air, he caught four receptions for 77 yards. Burkhead was more involved in the run game and he responded in the biggest game of the regular season.
Down: Devin McCourty
John Brown was too open on this touchdown reception. Whose the culprit here for letting him get so open? Devin McCourty. McCourty has had a very good season, probably should've gotten a Pro Bowl bid too. But on this play he let Brown get too free in open space. A rare mistake here for McCourty, which we don't see too often!
We're on to Miami!